Unlike his boss, who has raged in tweets and speeches, Pence has been careful in his comments about the multiple probes into the campaign's contacts with Russian Federation.
Pence encouraged graduates to take that independent spirit and lead with it.
In his remarks at the IN university, the vice president criticized what he called campus "safe spaces" and urged students not to suppress free speech.
Ricketts also said the university administration has not resisted their protest. "My concern a little bit is that, should the new president come, it may be even more of a circus". Both Pence and Dean John T. McGreevy spoke of the need to be open to political discourse. "We're not protesting Notre Dame at all", Lidinski said. They will have their own separate ceremony instead. "Otherwise, none of us are free".
The group they are opposed to Pence's beliefs and actions exhibited during his time as governor in Indiana. Off-campus demonstrations are being planned by We Go High!, South Bend Equality, and the Michiana Alliance for Democracy.
"His stance on women is disturbing to me, women's health issues.It's not just policy but also rhetoric all meant to keep women 'in their place, ' " said Heather Collins, of South Bend. "If such a map were to exist, Notre Dame would burn bright with the glow of vibrant discussion". "I don't think they represent Notre Dame at all". He said the vice president and his wife are dear friends of his and his wife.
Although Pence did not mention conservatism in his remarks, such practices often create a chilling effect for right-leaning students due to overwhelming left-wing tilts on major college campuses.
"Many who oppose the decision say that hosting Mr. Pence will serve as an endorsement of the current president", Molly Wicker, a junior at Grove City College, wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times.
"The vice president is a person who really shares the same values that Grove City College has, and it's an honor for us to host him here and we are going to make a great memory for our students and their families", he said.
To be leaders, the vice president said graduates must aspire to be men and women of character, inspiring others and animated by servitude rather than selfish ambition.
Merkley, also a Democrat, held a rally-style media event in downtown Portland on Friday to confront the Trump administration over the healthcare bill that recently passed the House of Representatives.
"Today, in communities large and small on Main Streets and meeting halls, in homes, and in hearts, and in gatherings at military bases across the nation, the American people are taking a moment to pause, to say thank you to you heroes who protect our freedom, our families, and our very way of life", Pence said.
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